Chelsea Marcantel’s “Everything Is Wonderful” receives its local premiere at Philadelphia Theatre Company, Feb. 14-March 8. The play explores forgiveness and community in the aftermath of a horrific accident. Out director Noah Himmelstein, who helmed the play last year at Baltimore’s Everyman Theatre, returns to stage the drama once again. 

Running Feb. 6-16, Philadelphia Theatre Week highlights the vibrancy and diversity of the local theater community. The 10-day celebration, sponsored and organized by Theatre Philadelphia, offers audiences the opportunity to expose themselves to a wide variety of live performances, all at discounted prices. Tickets for the more than 300 events participating this year are available on TodayTix. In order to be included, companies must offer tickets at one of three price points: free, $15 and $30.

“I Heart Alice Heart I” follows the ordinary life of a senior-aged lesbian couple in Dublin, which takes an extraordinary turn after a small public display of affection. Reviewing a New York production in 2012, a critic from Backstage wrote that Amy Conroy’s play “glows like a small gem, a stone shining with common sense and shot through with gleams of laughter, affection and keen observation.”

Theatre Exile is presenting a new thought-provoking dark comedy in "Babel," Feb. 19-March 8. Written by bisexual Philadelphia playwright Jacqueline Goldfinger, the story is set in the future where prospective lesbian parents grapple with the idea of using technology to decide what traits their child will have.

PGN talked to Goldfinger about the ideas that inspired her new play and the questions this story asks and answers about the world we live in and hope to create.

Have you heard of qureshi? Probably not. In the first scene of Rajiv Joseph’s “Describe the Night” — a fascinating and occasionally frustrating play now on stage at the Wilma Theater — writer Isaac Babel (Ross Beschler) explains the recipe to Nikolai Yezhov (Steven Rishard).

Contemporary theatergoers might not recognize the 1915 play “Rachel” or the name of its author, Angelina Weld Grimké. The work, while obscure today, was revolutionary in its time. At its premiere, it was the first piece of theater with an all-Black cast to be performed before an integrated audience. Grimké — a queer woman of color who also worked as a journalist and poet — was also interested in crafting a work with political dimensions, in line with the trend of agitprop theater popular at the time.

 

Out actor Keith J. Conallen didn’t have to travel far to build a successful career as an entertainer. The Philadelphia native and Temple graduate has been a fixture on local stages for two decades, picking up several Barrymore nominations and earning acclaim from critics and audiences alike. Conallen’s career has encompassed everything from world premiere plays to the classical canon, with no end in sight.

What do you do when a play feels like a discovery, but the production of it comes across as a hindrance? Oscar Wilde’s “A Woman of No Importance,” on the Walnut Street Theatre’s main stage through March 1, left me to ponder that predicament.

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